ATP Cup: Nick Kyrgios and Alex de Minaur topple Germany to shine at home


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ATP Cup: Nick Kyrgios and Alex de Minaur topple Germany to shine at home

On an opening day of the inaugural ATP Cup, four strong countries fought for the first victories in Group F in Brisbane, with Canada and Australia emerging at the top against Greece and Germany to top the standings. The home nation ousted Germany after two singles wins from Nick Kyrgios and Alex de Minaur who produced a comeback against Alexander Zverev to propel the Aussies home before the doubles clash.

In the first rubber, Nick Kyrgios took down Jan-Lennard Struff 6-4, 7-6 in swift an hour and 12 minutes to push Australia into an early lead. Firing 20 aces, Kyrgios dropped only 12 points behind the initial shot and never faced a break point, mounting the pressure on Struff who gave his best to stay in contention and earn at least a deciding set.

Instead of that, he got broken once in the first set and fall in the second set tie break to push Nick over the finish line despite a solid effort. Settling into a nice rhythm, they needed less than ten minutes to wrap up the first four games before Kyrgios converted the only break chance of the encounter to move 3-2 in front following a loose forehand from the German.

Barely losing a point in five service games, Nick closed the set with an ace at 5-4 after just 26 minutes, looking sharp on the court and hoping for more of the same in set number two. There, they both served well to reach a tie break in no time at all, with the crucial moment occurring at 4-3 for Kyrgios when he landed a perfect lob winner, moving further in front and sealing the deal with two aces at 5-4 to wrap up the triumph and make the winning start for Australia.

In the second match, Alex de Minaur defeated Alexander Zverev for the first time in five encounters, prevailing 4-6, 7-6, 6-2 in two hours and 44 minutes to send Australia over the top. Two years ago in Brisbane, the same rivals competed in thrilling Davis Cup tie that Zverev won in just under four hours, making the better start today as well before losing ground against the opponent who refused to surrender in front of the partisan crowd.

Zverev hit ten aces but also 14 double faults, struggling on the second serve big time and getting broken four times from 12 chances offered to Alex. On the other hand, the Sydney native repelled seven out of ten break points, staying in touch in set number two and racing past Alexander in the decider for a massive celebration with his teammates.

Eager to improve his game after a mediocre 2019, Alexander made the best possible start, delivering two breaks and opening a 5-2 advantage with some deep and persistent shots that de Minaur had no answer for. The Aussie pulled one break back to prolong the set and fought off six set points before Zverev finally brought it home in the tenth game after almost an hour.

In set number two, Alexander had a chance to move 5-2 ahead and seal the deal soon after, allowing de Minaur to fend off two break chances and break back in the very next game to level the score at 4-4. With the momentum on his side, Alex won the tie break 7-3 for a massive boost, entering the decider as the favorite and stealing Zverev's serve in games one and three to forge the lead that carried him over the finish line and towards the fourth top-10 triumph.